England right to rest Kevin Pietersen for limited overs leg of New Zealand tour, says Mark Ramprakash
Mark Ramprakash says England are right to rest Kevin Pietersen for part of their New Zealand tour.
Last Updated: 23/12/12 12:34pm
Pietersen, 32, has been left out despite making himself available for England in all forms of cricket since resolving his row over text messages this summer. Read the story here.
The ECB says his omission - and Graeme Swann's absence for the T20 leg of the tour - is an example of how they are managing players' workloads ahead of a busy international programme that features the Champions Trophy and back-to-back Ashes campaigns.
And that move has the support of former England batsman Ramprakash, who believes Pietersen should not be over-worked.
"I think this decision is the result of discussions that took place to re-integrate Kevin back into the England fold," he told Sky Sports News.
"The summer was an unhappy period for KP and the England team. It came to a head and England left him out - and I think the ECB handled it very well, actually.
"Kevin had talked about having too much of a workload, playing in every game in the last eight years and I think he's got a fair point. Therefore I think the ECB have decided to leave him out of this leg of the tour as a chance to rest him.
"I think it's the right thing and that's why I think when they spoke he had to give and he did - he apologised publicly and he's done well to re-integrate himself back into the side in India, scoring a magnificent hundred in the second Test which was pivotal to England winning.
"Now the ECB are giving something to Kevin here and understanding that he's had a lot of pressure cricket in the last eight years. He's one of England's top players, he plays in all formats and therefore he needs to be rested now and again. I don't think it's to keep him fresh for the IPL in April."
Pietersen will play no part in next month's five-match ODI series against India and was also rested for the recent T20 series, which ended 1-1 after England grabbed a thrilling six-wicket victory in Mumbai on Saturday.
The tourists needed three off the final delivery from Ashok Dinda to reach their target of 178 and skipper Eoin Morgan sealed victory by hitting Ashok Dinda for six. Ramprakash said it was clear just how much the result meant to England's squad.
"You could see the reaction on the bench - all the players were up," he said. "It really meant a lot to them. It was a tight game and a big target to chase down.
"Eoin Morgan has got a touch of genius, there's no question about it. he does this time and time again - in really high-pressure situations he keeps calm, keeps his cool. The shot that he hit last ball - he kept his shape and didn't try to hit it too hard.
"To get 49 off 26 balls at the climax of the match proves he is a really cool customer and I think he and Dhoni are probably the two best players in that situation in world cricket.
"The feel-good factor will trickle all the way through [the English cricket system] to the England Lions, who have been out in India recently.
"They will want to carry it on in India and New Zealand; although there are different characters who come in for each format, I think there's a great pride and togetherness in the England camp."
Captain Alastair Cook will return to the 50-over line-up for the first ODI against India on January 9 - just weeks after leading England to their first Test series victory in India for 28 years.
Cook - the youngest ever player to score 7,000 Test runs - stroked 562 runs in the four-Test series at an average of 80 but Ramprakash believes the 27-year-old has yet to reach the peak of his powers, either as a batsman or captain.
"He's still developing [as a captain]. I think people often look for the finished article too early and I don't think that's fair because Alastair Cook hasn't done much captaincy.
"He got into the Test side at a very, very young age and he's been an absolute fixture there. His captaincy will develop but his batting has been on a different level.
"He's now the top century-maker for England in all Test cricket and, boy, did he play well in India. It was an outstanding feat of concentration. He may not empty the bars like Kevin Pietersen, but he does a fantastic job for England.
"Arguably, he is only just getting to his peak now. He's already played six or seven years of international cricket. Alastair is a guy who sticks to his strengths.
"He doesn't necessarily have shots all around the wicket but he's got great concentration and he's very strong mentally. He can take the knock backs that you get as an opening batsman but he sticks with his game. The mental side of his game is outstanding and that's why he can play long innings, as he did in India."
India face England again when the ODI series gets underway in 2013! Watch the first ODI from 8.30am on Friday January 11, on Sky Sports 1 HD.
Sky Sports has secured the rights to England's tour of New Zealand - catch the first T20 international live on Sky Sports on February 9.